91 FiTneSS and Free Bike renTalS chang-wonderFul With a background in fitness and a stint in the British army’s officer training corps, Clay, the Jinhae resident, was able to highlight the many exercise opportunities in Changwon. Like many Korean cities, Changwon is surrounded by mountains, which are easily accessible from most neigh- borhoods. “There is a massive ridge that stretch- es from Changwon to Jinhae, which is amazing for hiking,” Clay says. “From the top you can see all the different wards (divisions). When the Jinhae cherry blossom festival happens in spring, the view contains a breathtaking mix of pink flowers and glass-fronted buildings. I’ve never seen anything like it.” There is also a wide variety of sports that residents can watch or play. With- in the city limits alone there is a soccer team, an Ultimate Frisbee team, a bowl- ing league and an ice hockey team, all of which are open to foreigners. There’s even a Gaelic football team that, despite being based out of Bu- san, boasts a lot of members from Changwon. The city’s pro teams include a basketball team and two football teams — the Changwon LG Sakers, Gyeongnam FC and Changwon FC, respectively — as well as the NC Dinos baseball team that plays in Masan. Finally, there is a shooting range and rock climbing practice wall, which Clay pointed out is “amazing for a city of this size.” Another interesting feature of Changwon is the excellent Nubija service, a bike rental system that has unmanned stations all over the city and is particularly useful for casual or short-term visitors. It would be remiss not to mention the website Changw onderful.com, set up by two former residents, Tim Robinson and Heather Heinrichs, purely for the love of the city. A quick look at the site and its cornucopia of information shows the dedication to the community some residents have, and there is no better example of the strength there- in — except, perhaps, Robinson’s tattoo of the city’s mascots, Chang-e and Won-e. They started the site because there wasn’t enough English information about Changwon. “When I arrived I felt like the only information out there was word of mouth,” Heinrichs said. “Facebook was useful, but it left a lot of helpful people answering the same ques- tions over and over. So with Tim being an excellent designer, and me having lots of free time and a gener- al know-it-all mentality, we formed Changwonderful.” As to why they wanted to help, she concluded, “The people in Changwon are the reason. I loved being ac- tive in a warm community.” Perhaps The Guardian’s endorsement was more about the perks of a well-planned city than simply run- of-the-mill tourist highlights. Overall, Changwon has a lot to offer both its long-term residents and the people who pass through town for the weekend: a place to enjoy the great outdoors or take in your favorite sport in a packed stadium; a place to lose yourself in the rush of live music; a place to socialize; a place to cut loose with a community that will be there to help you when you need it. Cities all over Korea tend to blend together visually and, while Changwon offers a few aesthetic differences, what makes it special is more significant: the people. ‘I’ve been really lucky over the years. o’brIens has a nIce mIx of engIneers and teachers. It makes the place feel a lIttle bIt more lIke home, younger and older people Just havIng a drInk.’ austIn buckley, owner of o’brIens pub ‘my favorIte place to play musIc, bIzarrely, Is at an underpass beneath a maIn road, Jungang- daero, whIch has the most amazIng acoustIcs. I love takIng my guItar down there and tryIng to get the locals, usually sauced, dancIng on a frIday or saturday.’ stuart thompson, musIcIan